Quaker Education: A Source Book

Collection of Reseach on Quaker Education

This compilation of research on Quaker education provides readers with a comprehensive overview of research conducted on Quaker Education. It includes portions of Leonard Kenworthy’s perspective of Quaker Education from the 1600’s to the 1980’s from his book, Quaker Education: A Sourcebook. This resource then organizes research on Quaker education into eight themes and includes an annotated bibliography to encourage readers to delve deeper into the more specialized materials on Quaker education.

It is our hope to keep this list of research up-to-date and encourage readers to submit their research on Quaker Education.

Story of this work

Over 30 years ago, Leonard Kenworthy set upon the ambitious task of compiling Quaker Education: A Sourcebook. His primary goal was to assemble a comprehensive account of Quaker education, which had never been done before. The first edition of Quaker Education: A Sourcebook is a gift to researchers and those curious about Quaker education’s origins, struggles, and potential. Much of the text is now outdated and relevant only to the time that it was penned. The materials Leonard pulled together in print for the first time, are now easily found with updated sources in a quick Google search on the internet.

To honor the spirit in which this first edition was assembled, this second edition seeks to also fulfill a need that has not yet been met. Leonard rightfully points out that at the time of his publication, not much research had been done on Quaker education. He even made suggestions on what areas could be explored. In subsequent years, there has been a ground swell in which Friends and friends-of-Friends have embarked on exploring the nature, historical relevance, pedagogy, and practice of Quaker education. Accordingly, this second edition is the 21st century source book of research on Quaker education and provides readers with a comprehensive overview of research conducted on Quaker Education.

About the Author

Leonard S. Kenworthy, 1912-1991, was a prolific writer, a social studies teacher, a Quaker, and a proponent of international understanding. Leonard was a graduate of Westtown Friends School and Earlham College.  He earned his master’s degree in U.S. history Columbia University. For several years, he was a faculty member at the Friends Select School in Philadelphia, the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT, and the Friends Central School in Overbrook, PA. For a year or so just before the U.S. entered WWII he worked for AFSC in Germany supporting Friends meetings and trying to assist refugees leave the country. After the war ended he worked for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the first head of its Division on Education for International Understanding. After his work with UNESCO he taught social studies methods and international education for thirty years as a professor of education at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Leonard also served on the board of trustees for a number of Friends schools.


To Paul Lacey, a beloved Quaker educator who taught me that in Friends education, “It is not that we call our teachers by their first name, but that every teacher knows our name.”


Special thanks to Leonard Kenworthy for offering a glimpse into Friends Education in one moment in time, and to Tom Kenworthy, who honors Leonard’s vision and made this new edition possible.


Christen Higgins Clougherty


Douglas Martin Johnson



The Rise of Quaker Education & Early Schools

Quaker Pedagogy: A Moral Approach to Experiential Learning

Diversity in Friends Schools

Friends School & Learning Differences

Friends School Leadership

Friends School Governance

Meeting for Worship

Friends School Culture

Quaker Education: A Source Book - version 1